MBCNSW April 2024 Night Drive – Bridge to Bridge

The April 2024 night drive was a repeat of a route we last did two years ago.   On that night, I tried two different cars before withdrawing, both of them having brake issues.   In addition, recent bad weather kept the numbers down.   This month was a much better experience all around.

The drive was dubbed the ‘Bridge to Bridge’ drive.   Basically we would take the back roads from Windsor Bridge in the north west to Peats Ferry Bridge in the north, going via Berowra Waters ferry.

Since it was a double demerits weekend, the 240D seemed like the perfect car for the drive.   It was also a good opportunity to see how it went on twisty roads and a motorway section.   Our meeting point was McDonalds in Windsor, where we had six cars on the drive.   These were my 240D, a 380SEL and 380SEC, W124 230E, 300TE and a modern C350 diesel.

Bridge to Bridge

My 240D was in the lead and was quickly able to show that the 240D is not the slow car people think.    Our drive started going up past Scheyville to Cattai ridge road and then taking that towards the Berowra Waters Ferry.   From there, we took the Old Pacific Highway to Peats Ferry Bridge, before taking the motorway back to our ending point at a 7/11 in Berowra.

As usual for these types of drive, there was very little other traffic on the road.   Our group was a good size to catch the Ferry and we were all able to stay together.    After the 7/11 stop, it was a 40 minute drive back for me, with a motorway section first.

Bridge to Bridge

My 240D did well, and it continues to show what a great car it is to drive.   It handled the twisty sections well, and the car had plenty of power for most of the drive.    The only section is struggled a bit was the long uphill motorway section going south from Peats Ferry Bridge.   Speed would slowly sink down to about 85km/h where I could kick down and then accelerate back up to about 95 before repeating the process.    Once the road flattened out, I was able to maintain 110km/h, although there were some slight gradients that pulled speed back.

I only noticed two things about the car.  The first was that even at night the temperature seemed to high.    It would mostly sit around 100C.   It generally didn’t get much lower, but occasionally it would go down to about 90C.   During the second motorway section it rose to about 110C, and I had to back off and turn on the heater.   My theory is that I have a sticky thermostat, as by the time I got home, the temperature seemed in the mid 80s.   My first port of call will be to change the thermostat and see if that improves things.


When I parked the car, I also noticed that the oil cooler was cold to the touch.   I will keep an eye on this, I would rather not change the oil thermostat as that seems like a major job.

Overall, I was very happy with the 240D and I enjoyed taking it on the drive.   I probably gave it an ‘Italian tune up’ of sorts.

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